A look in the mirror

Wednesday 31 Oct 2012

Henning Larsen designs new HQ for Der Spiegel in Hamburg

Henning Larsen Architects has chosen a two-part composition to create hierarchy and openness on the site and has integrated the complex urban spaces that meet in the design of the building. With its clearly readable figure, the building has a reserved yet characteristic expression that provides a special significance in relation to creating identity for all the surrounding public spaces.

The design of the building offers light and transparency in all work areas, while maintaining secluded areas for concentration as well as open spaces for communication. The floors are connected with staircases and bridges, crisscrossing through the open space of the atrium. The large central window of the building displays the activities of the busy publishing house and offers the employees a direct view of the world they describe. This creates an active dialogue between the pulsating activities of the building and city life.

The two buildings form two plazas: an arrival plaza for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers and an open public plaza, which has a direct connection to the waterfront promenade. Sustainability and energy efficiency has played a crucial role during the conception of the Spiegel-building. It meets the high requirements of the Hafencity’s 'gold medal' for environment-friendly buildings and thereby also complies with the demands of the international label 'green building'.

As energy consumption is only one aspect of the assessment of a building’s overall sustainability, further criteria are evaluated such as the use of public resources, the selection of building materials and the creation of a healthy and comfortable working environment. The rules and requirements of the 'gold medal' influenced the work of all parties involved in designing and engineering the building. The gold standard could only be guaranteed through a broad mix of different technologies and a careful and extensive process of selecting building materials.

Client: Robert Vogel GmbH & Co

Design period: 2007-2008

Construction period: 2008-2010

Gross floor area: 50,000 sq m

Type of assignment: 1st prize in international competition

Architects: Henning Larsen Architects and Höhler+Partner

Landscape: WES & Partner Landschaftsarchitekten

Engineers: Ingenieurbüro Dr. Binnewies, DS-Plan and ISR Schlegel und Reußwig

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